unnecessary homosexuality

And while we're on the topic of gay characters and whether they need to be story driven or not, from Making Light:

But what I was most amused by was yet another outbreak of that thing we saw in some of the reviews of Farthing:

We are meant to see the tragedy of Julian Comstock as being the tragedy of America (though in that respect, his homosexuality seems an unnecessary distraction).
Yes, it’s our old friend Unnecessary Homosexuality! It’s okay for people to be gay, but they should be civilized about it and only actually do so when the plot shows up with a clipboard and says, “Okay, I need a gay person now, so be gay.” Gay people being gay just because some people are gay? Not done. Unnecessary. A distraction.

10 comments:

Dominique said...

In full recognition of the fact that this might sound strange, I feel compelled to say, there is no such thing as unnecessary homosexuality. Sometimes characters are just homosexual, just like some characters are just Catholic and some are just brunettes. It happens when characters get born. Statistically speaking, some people in life are gay; ergo, statistically speaking, some characters will be gay. To a certain extent, a character's homosexuality is just a touch of realism.

Aerin said...

Oh, thank god you got here first, Dominique. I kept trying to form words and sentences in my head but I am too damn tired. So glad you said it for me.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

You guys get the commentary at the end is sarcasm, right?

The whole thing just cracked me up.

Aerin said...

I thought it was, but then I thought maybe not, and then I was so tired I thought, well, better assume it's not....

....yes, by the light of day I get the sarcasm. BTW, Bets...HOW do you get up so early?

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I wish I could fucking sleep. Wait until November. I'll be the one sitting out on the sofa on my 5th cup of tea when all you normal people get up.

Erica Orloff said...

In "Do They Wear High Heels in Heaven," one character is straight and one is gay. And there was a reviewer who gave it a GREAT review, but said readers could "skip over" the more graphic gay elements, and also the violence one of the gay characters was subjected to (he was assaulted by his baseball team). I found it REALLY insulting--would anyone say, "Skip over the straight sex and the assault on the straight person"--as if this HUGE element to the story could be skipped because it makes you squirm a little ("you" being someone with a certain sensibility). Can you imagine reviewing books and saying, "Skip from page 101-106 if you don't want to read about gay people making out"--I mean, the review wasn't THAT blatant, but it might as well have been.

Grrr . . . . .

Aimless Writer said...

A character is a character is a character. Weird that readers would focus on the gay-ness (is that a word?) and not who the character is underneath.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I cannot imagine what some people think when they're spouting off about something like that. It's akin to "great book but the description of the house on these pages sucked..."

Aimless, I went round and round on when I should introduce the fact that Trin is gay. It happens a bit later, the first hint is when he's first close to Castile. For two reasons: it's not on his mind so it didn't fit with his POV well, and also, sexual orientation is hardly the first thing someone thinks of when they're meeting someone.

All that said, I do recognize that some folks have issue with it. There's no blatant sex in my book but there is love...

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